How To Avoid a Mid (or quarter) Life Crisis

If you were to look at my client files in an attempt to ascertain the ages of the clients that I see, I‘d have to call the Police because it’s confidential information.

I’d also want to know how you got past my security system, a slightly mental Doberman and a drawer that normally takes me 30 minutes to get open, but let’s suppose this is all above board and you’re undertaking some important humanitarian research with my blessings.

What do you think you’d find?

A few days ago I couldn’t have given you an answer to that rather benign question, but recently curiosity got the better of me and I decided to check it out. The results did cause me to slightly raise one eyebrow and think,

“Hmmm, that’s mildly interesting.” Now that I have whipped you into a rabid frenzy of anticipation I will share my highly scientific findings so you too can raise an eyebrow, or maybe even gasp in horror.

15-24 6%
25-35 28%
36-45 52%
46+ 14%

What do those figures tell us other than I have way too much time on my hands? I think the huge spike that occurs with the group in their late 30’s and early to mid 40’s is indicative of people hitting what is frequently referred to as a mid-life crisis and looking for guidance.

It’s a sobering thought when we get into our 40’s to suddenly realize we may have passed the halfway mark of our term here on Planet Earth.

It’s not just reserved for people approaching or passing 40 either. The new phrase on the block is quarter-life crisis.

Here we have similar symptoms being displayed by the older group but this time by people heading towards 30.

What are the symptoms I’m talking about you may be thinking? Well here’s a few to ponder whilst you kill some time before retirement:

  • Wondering what the hell life is all about
  • Apathy or even a sense of urgency for no apparent reason
  • A sense of being stuck
  • A desire to buy sports cars and cruise around the ‘hood playing loud music with the top down
  • A feeling of wasted potential
  • An inability to accept that you can’t dance all night and still get up for work bright eyed and bushy tailed
  • Feeling out of place in Abercrombie & Fitch
  • A strong urge to join a gym followed by an even stronger one to watch ‘Murder She Wrote’

Of course there are many more, they are just the ones I pondered one Saturday afternoon about 5 years ago.

Today dear reader, I’m going to give you the secret of avoiding a mid-life or even a quarter life crisis.

If you follow this one piece of advice you’ll never need to worry about paying outrageous sums of money to life coaches with dubious credentials and you can relax in the knowledge that your life wil be one long walk in the park.

Follow Your Passion

I can almost hear the groans from here. I know it’s about as original as ‘My Way’ at a funeral, but what can I say?

It’s the one thing that will almost guarantee that you never feel the need to go out and buy a Ferrari, wear dresses that are way too small or spend all your spare cash following the Chippendales on tour. Ladies, you’ll be ok too.

In all my years of coaching, I’ve never had somebody come to me suffering from a MLC or even a QLC that bounded into my office announcing they loved their job with a passion but just knew there was something missing in their life.

That is either one helluva coincidence or we’re on to something significant people.

If you live to be 65 and have a standard working life you are probably going to spend about 85,000 hours doing something that you may either hate, or are at best, are ambivalent about. Why would you ever even consider that as an acceptable option?

That was a rhetorical question by the way, because the last thing I want you to do now is start searching your brain for reasons to justify this state of affairs. There is never any justification, but while you think there is, you’ll always find it, So stop looking now!

How do you know if you’re in the wrong job?

Worry not; I’m on hand again with yet another bullet list to bail you out. Some of these may seem obvious, but trust me, I‘ve had clients say stuff like this and then when I replayed it back to them , they’ve looked at me like I just told explained the Theory Of Everything.

In actual fact, the Theory Of Everything comes in session 2, and only for clients that have booked 6 sessions or more.

  • You tell everybody you hate your job
  • You wish it were Friday at 5.00pm when you head off for your Monday morning coffee break
  • You look forward to contracting rare tropical diseases that will keep you in bed for weeks on end
  • You stick pins in your eyes to keep you awake
  • You feel drained all the time
  • You argue at home about stuff at work
  • You argue at work about stuff at home
  • You visualize your boss being skewered alive and then slow roasted over and open fire
  • Monster is your home page
  • You say things like “Sorry, they don’t pay me enough to do that” “At 4.55? Are you nuts? I’m off home?” or even “Let’s kill the VP of sales and march on company headquarters with his head on a spike”

None of that is good, is it?

You can join in the pity party and reconcile yourself to the fact that everybody else you know dislikes their job. I find that’s always a great reason to stay miserable.

Or you could even blame the fact that you have a huge mortgage, a family to keep and the Universe hates you and has been conspiring against you since your unfortunate birth.

Alternatively, you could decide that no way no how are you going to look back on a life of wasted potential. That you’re going to do something about it right here and right now!

Luckily, it is relatively easy to change careers. Seriously, people do it all the time without any trouble whatsoever, even when they require additional education.

All you will have to do is take some online courses in your spare time to begin working towards a career that you will truly enjoy.

If you want to work as a counselor, in social services, or in the human resources department, consider earning something like a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services Administration.

If you want to follow a different career path, work towards a different degree. Just make sure that you do something, so that you are not left with any regrets.